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Adams, J. D. & Company (1885-1954) | Historical Construction Equipment Association

Name: Adams, J. D. & Company (1885-1954)

Historical Note:

Historical information:


J. D. Adams invented the first successful leaning-wheel pull grader in 1885, and founded J. D. Adams & Company. The Company, which was reorganized as J. D. Adams Company circa 1929, also produced elevating graders, sheepsfoot rollers, dozers, grader attachments, pull and rotary scrapers, force-feed loaders, and related equipment. Its Welding Division marketed an arc welder in 1936. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Adams had a Canadian affiliate, J. D. Adams (Canada) Ltd., with offices in Toronto, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. Adams was purchased by LeTourneau-Westinghouse (Collection 461) in 1953; L-W retained the Adams brand name for its recognition value until c. 1960.

Adams had cross-marketing relationships with several other manufacturers, including Acme Road Machinery Company (Collection 26), The Baker Manufacturing Company (Collection 133), and Smith Trailer Corporation (Collection 1824). Some Adams literature includes Acme and Smith products, and Baker marketed Adams Road King graders in addition to its own.

Model nomenclature:

Adams used at least two series of model designations for pull graders. One was the “Grader” series, and the other was the “Patrol” series.

Lterature dating and numbering:

Brochures and spec sheets apparently used a date-based numbering system, using the two digits for the year and a two-digit serial number. The second two digits cannot directly be for the month, as numbers greater than 12 were observed.

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